The Sulabh International Museum of toilets is the brain-child of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. His painstaking efforts for marshaling even the minutest details about the development of toilet system in the world led to the establishment of this unique museum in 1992 in New Delhi. The exhibits, so collected, have been meticulously displayed chronologically. Thus, it showcases the development of toilet system of last five thousand years from the third millennium B.C. to the end of the 20th century.
The museum has three main sections – Ancient, Medieval and Modern
Ancient » The story unfolds with the sanitation arrangements of the Harappan Settlements of around 3,000 B.C. The excavated main sites of that civilization at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in modern Pakistan and Dholavira and Lothal in Gujarat province of India have remnants of wells, bathing tanks, both overground and underground drains, toilets, soak-pits, roads and lanes. The W.C. toilet at Mohenjo-Daro of 2,500 B.C. is acknowledged as a championing work in the field of sanitation. The pucca wide underground drain of Dholavira in the citadel section of the township, has manholes at regular intervals to monitor the flow inside.
Simultaneously, the museum also displays sanitation arrangements of other ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Crete, Jerusalem, Greece and Rome.
Medieval » During the Middle Ages, whether in India or elsewhere, the kings and emperors used to live in big forts for security reasons. The museum displays toilets of Amber Fort of Jaipur, Akbar’s Fort in Fatehpur-Sikri near Agra, Gingee Fort of Tamilnadu and Golconda Fort of Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
In this section, one can also see table-top toilet of England, costly stones studded bided of Queen Victoria, highly decorated commodes from Austria and other cross-stools of that period in Europe.
Modern » This section has interesting toilet related cartoons, photographs of toilets from the catalogues of reputed sanitary ware manufacturing companies, public toilets of different countries and toilet jokes.
The visitors in this section also see the toy-commode from China, mobile toilet of Sulabh, electric toilet from USA and the model of the world’s biggest toilet complex at a religious place named Shirdi in Maharashtra. The museum is also exhibiting some ultra-modern electronic toilets from Japan, South Korea and some other countries.